Dead medium: Dead Personal Computers
Source(s): Historical Computer Society's "Historically Brewed" magazine Historically Brewed: Our First Year, $14.95 editor David Greelish Available from: HCS Press, 1994 2962 Park Street #1 Jacksonville Florida 32205

The staggering speed of technological obsolescence in personal computing makes this perhaps the single most challenging area in dead media studies. The following list, garnered from several issues of "Historically Brewed," a computer collectors' fanzine, does not even begin to count the casualties. There is no pretense of accuracy or exhaustiveness here, although this is the best list I've seen to date. These machines were created for the American, British, and Japanese markets, with no mention at all of, for instance, Soviet Bloc computers. Nor are there any listings of workstations, mainframes, dedicated game computers or arcade console machines. The lacunae here are very obvious and I hope that knowledgeable Dead Media Illuminati will help to close those gaps.
I was deeply disquieted to learn that the Historical Computer Society has a sister group known as IACC which specializes in collecting defunct calculators.
A further wrinkle suggests itself when one surmises that the true "dead medium" in dead computation is not dead platforms (such as those listed here) but dead operating systems (for which I have no list at all).
An editorial note: The Dead Media Mailing List is now emanating from fringeware.com, who were kind enough to offer us their services gratis. The Dead Media Mailing List is not an interactive list or discussion group. That may come at some later time -- I welcome advice on the subject of a possible "alt.dead.media." Currently this mailing list is solely a means of distribution of edited articles and research minutiae. Only the most sober, lugubrious, and scholarly commentary will pass the eagle eye of the DMML editor, ie. bruces@well.com. Hopefully this will keep traffic down to the point where we can all actually get some work done.
Dead Personal Computers (the first draft):
Altair 8800
 
Amiga 500
 
Amiga 1000
 
Amstrad
 
Apple I, II, IIc, IIe, II+, IIgs, III
 
Apple Lisa
 
Apple Lisa MacXL
 
Apricot
 
Atari 400
 
Atari 800
 
Atari 520ST
 
Atari 1200XL
 
Basis 190
 
BBC Micro
 
Bondwell 2
 
Cambridge Z-88
 
Canon Cat
 
Columbia Portable
 
Commodore 128
 
Commodore C64
 
Commodore Vic-20
 
Commodore Plus 4
 
Commodore Pet
 
CompuPro "Big 16"
 
Cromemco Z-2D
 
Cromemco System 3
 
DOT Portable
 
Eagle II
 
Epson QX-10
 
Epson HX-20
 
Epson PX-8 Geneva
 
Exidy Sorcerer
 
Franklin Ace 500
 
Franklin Ace 1200
 
Gavilan
 
Grid Compass
 
Heath/Zenith
 
Hyperion
 
IBM PC 640K
 
IBM XT
 
IBM Portable
 
IBM PCjr
 
IMSAI 8080
 
Intertek Superbrain II
 
Ithaca Intersystems DPS-1
 
Kaypro 2x
 
Linus WriteTop
 
Mac 128, 512, 512KE
 
Mattel Aquarius
 
Micro-Professor MPF-II
 
Morrow MicroDecision 3
 
Morrow Portable
 
NEC PC-8081
 
NEC Starlet 8401-LS
 
NorthStar Advantage
 
NorthStar Horizon
 
Ohio Scientific
 
Oric
 
Osborne 1
 
Osborne Executive
 
Panasonic
 
Sanyo 1255
 
Sanyo PC 1250
 
Sinclair ZX-80
 
Sinclair ZX-81
 
Sol Model 20
 
Sony SMC-70
 
Spectravideo SV-328
 
SuperBrain II QD
 
Tandy 1000
 
Tandy 1000SL
 
Tandy Coco 1
 
Tandy Coco 2
 
Tandy Coco 3
 
Tano Dragon
 
TRS-80
 
TI 99/4
 
Timex/Sinclair 1000
 
Timex/Sinclair color computer
 
Vector 4
 
Victor 9000
 
Workslate
 
Xerox 820 II
 
Xerox Alto
 
Xerox Dorado
 
Xerox 1108
 
Yamaha CX5M
 
 

Possible sources of further insight:
A Collector's Guide to Personal Computers and Pocket Calculators by Dr Thomas F Haddock $14.95
from: Books Americana, Inc P O Box 2326 Florence, Alabama 35360
History of the Personal Computer by Stan Veit $16.95
from: Historical Computer Society 2962 Park Street #1 Jacksonville, Florida 32205
Encyclopedia of Computer History by Mark Greenia Lexikon Publishing (??)